Next Video Chat, Give the Wall Behind Your Mug Some Love
As Covid-19 pandemic, we are holding video conferencing and also looking at each other’s homes via FaceTime and Zoom, it’s time to rethink wallpaper — not the virtual kind of thing.
The wallpaper business was booming before coronavirus forced us all to contemplate the state of the walls in our home — and in the home of everyone else at our virtual meeting. Those in the industry take note: “We saw a big spike in wallpaper sample orders,” says Noel Fahden, vice president of merchandising at the online retailer Chairish. “Many customers are ordering five-plus samples at a time, so they’ re clearly considering a range of options.”
The founder of Eskayel, Shanan Campanaro, says that her business has remained “fairly stable” because it mainly works with interior designers who are working on new construction and long-term projects that can not be stopped. However, the biggest increase has been the involvement of social media. “Fans at home seem particularly interested in in inspiring home imagery right now,” she says.
Family-owned French brand Pierre Frey was lucky: it recently launched a new website, and Kim Huebner, who manages its showroom in New York, says that customers are quickly adapting to working online. With so much teleconference going on, “A woven design that is paperbacked and applied to the wall will help with acoustics,” she suggests. “And remember to choose a flattering color to make your image look good on screen.”
From left Svenskt Tenn, Gucci, Calico Wallpaper. Source: Vendor.
Josef Frank, an Austrian-born architect who moved to Sweden in 1933 in the midst of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, is one of the most loved wallpaper designers. “All of Josef Frank’s prints are bold and colorful,” says Thommy Bindefeld, creative director of Svenskt Tenn, a Swedish interior company founded in 1924.
“Even though many of them were designed during the Second World War, [they] are very cheerful and playful.” The combination of spectacular and realistic sketches in the Varklockor series (above, left) includes such spring flowers as tulips, crocuses, dandelions, and forget-me-nots. Less bold, but no less unique, is Gucci’s new Herbarium print (above, center) from the Spring-Summer 2020 collection. Its floral design also comes in a variety of colours. Status brand Calico Wallpaper, meanwhile, has produced a few more subtle flower-inspired patterns, including Flora (above, right), which evokes “the eternal calm and serenity of the open field.”
From left: De Gournay, Chasing Wallpaper, Graham Brown. Source: Vendor.
De Gournay, the grand dame of French wallpaper brands, also released a riotous floral pattern with fashion brand Erdem this year, but its “Chez Nina” collection (above, left), with Iranian-French architect and designer India Mahdavi, takes a bold, geometric turn by giving diamond patterns the star treatment.
One low-risk way to dip a toe in the wallpaper waters is with removable options. Graduate Plaid (above, center) by Chasing Wallpaper gives off an intellectual’s library look, while Graham Brown’s Plum Heritage (above, right) is a luxurious, versatile stripe that can be hung vertically or horizontally.
From left: Scalamandre, Voutsa, Work and Sea. Source: Vendor.
The playful zebra print (above, left) was designed by Flora Scalamandre in 1945 and was originally intended for use in Gino Capri, a restaurant in New York’s Upper East Side. Since then, printing has been used by many retailers, including Barney’s and Kate Spade, as well as in films such as The Royal Tenenbaums and Mighty Aphrodite. If it’s too twee for your 10 o’clock appointment, Chairish’s Fahden recommends scenic, botanical or green patterns.
For even more personality, Voutsa’s Plumes and Eyes pattern (above, center) gives the impression of depth with its insanely detailed feathers, and he also has an upcoming Birds collection. And who’s not in love with elephants? The Totem Tunis pattern from up and coming Los Angeles studio Work and Sea proves that animal patterns don’t have to be relegated to children’s rooms.
From left: Eskayel, Kelly Wearstler, Wallpaper Projects. Source: Vendors
Softer colors can sometimes make the camera look better. “So many of our patterns have been used in the home office,” says Eskayel’s Campanaro. Each of them feels right, depending on their intention. Sometimes a bright, vibrant paper like Splash in Cerulean can spark a lively thought, and sometimes something more calming and subtle like Nairutya in Chalk is nice for quiet contemplation. Portico (above, left) is its latest. It’s based on the whitewashed walls in Ostuni and other towns in the Italian region of Puglia, where is where her father’s family is from.
District, the latest pattern (center) from Kelly Wearstler, comes in a variety of colors and makes you look like you’re in a painting. Triad No. 5 of Wallpaper Projects (right) is one of a few lush colorways that have the advantage of being cheerful as well.
From left: Hermes, Pierre Frey, Martinique. Source: Vendors
The newest wallpaper collection from Hermès doubles down to the wish-you-were-here vibe. Its Decor Mural Tropical (above, left) is the visual graphic of a villa’s window looking out of a pool. The inspiration for Pierre Frey’s Ixtapa Ocean (above, center), meanwhile, came from a vacation video by the company’s chief executive officer, who worked with an artist to recreate the scene of waves rolling onto a beach in Mexico. The scale, notes Huebner, allows you to feel like if you’re part of the scenery. One of the most famous classic wallpapers: Martinique (above, right) was designed for California’s Beverly Hills Hotel, where much significant work has been accomplished.
For a Real Green Screen …
From Burke Decor. Source: Vendor
Burke Decor’s Jute Grasscloth is a modern mix of grasscloth, cork, and mica patterns. The real benefit? The green screen function in Zoom works far better with a genuine green screen behind you.